Spotting The Spotted Orchid

Common Spotted-orchid Dactylorhiza fuchsii

I came across this bright and colourful plant all alone in a field near my local river. It is called the Common Spotted-orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii).

Common Spotted-orchid Dactylorhiza fuchsii

Common Spotted-orchid Dactylorhiza fuchsii

Common Spotted-orchid Dactylorhiza fuchsii

Common Spotted-orchid Dactylorhiza fuchsii

Common Spotted-orchid Dactylorhiza fuchsii leaves


May 2017, Staffordshire, England.

Common Spotted-orchid

Dactylorhiza fuchsii

Not so common in the fields around me, for I only saw this one single specimen back in 2012, and have seen none since. But it was certainly a nice surprise and a sight to behold.

The flower spike is of numerous pale lilac or pink florets, and marked with purplish lines or spots., although other forms can be found from white to reddish-purple. The narrow leaves are usually spotted or blotched with brownish markings. It grows up to 70cm tall, with flowers up to 2cm wide.

Flowers June to July. Found in open woods, meadows, fens and marshes, on roadside verges and railway banks. Locally abundant and widespread throughout Britain, except in Devon and Cornwall, and the north-east of Scotland.

Photographs taken June 2012, local field, Staffordshire.